General English

Cars & Driving

  • noun a bubble in the paintwork, caused by trapped moisture or air under the paint or by rust


  • Usually an undesirable moisture and/or air-induced bubble or bulge that often indicates that some kind of delamination has taken place. Blisters can occur between finish plaster and the base coat, between paint or varnish and the surface to which it has been applied, between roofing membranes or between membrane and substrate, between reinforcing tape and the gypsum board to which it has been adhered, etc.
  • A tree disease characterized by the seepage of pitch onto the bark surface.


  • noun a swelling on the skin containing serum from the blood, caused by rubbing, burning or a disease such as chickenpox
  • verb to produce blisters


  • noun a liquid-filled swelling on the skin caused by a burn, friction or chemical agent


  • noun a bubble which forms on the surface of paper as it dries

Origin & History of “blister”

Blister and its now extinct variant blester first appear in English at the end of the 13th century, possibly borrowed from Old French blestre, blostre. It seems that this in turn may have come from middle Dutch bluyster ‘swelling’, but further back than that it has not proved possible to trace the word.